Clickshare Corporation's pioneering multi-site, single-ID, Internet micropayment system went live on Friday as users began clicking on -- and paying for -- information online. Purchases from Friday to Sunday by over a dozen first registrants totaled $62.60. "We're the web's first working multi-site distributed user-management and micropayment service," said Bill Densmore, Clickshare's chairman.
"Now publishers can charge for valuable information on the Internet, rather than giving it away." "Now that 'The Internet's Information Utility'(SM) is up and running," said Felix Kramer, Clickshare marketing director, "we'll finally see whether people will buy information by the click." Typical articles from a test archive of domestic and international articles from The Christian Science Monitor were "Ground Personnel: Gap in Airport Security System" and "Africa South of Sahara boasts dictators and wide political freedom" (daily indexes $0.10, articles $0.25). Lead story in the entertainment industry intelligencer Studio Briefing ($0.50) was "Job Jitters at Turner" (as the merger with Time Warner proceeds). And the American Reporter, the Internet's first digital daily, also $0.50, featured its worldwide Pinkerton Risk Assessment, and an exclusive report on "Pollution by Super-Size Hog Farms Feared Across Illinois."
Clickshare allows users to have a single ID and password yet gain access to multiple web sites. It uses the company's proprietary Digital Calling Card(SM) technology to track user movements and settle charges. Its software is a server add-on, not a user application. Users can now sign up once, give a credit card online or offline, log in once per session, and, while preserving their privacy, buy information -- for a dime from one place, a quarter from another unrelated site. At the end of the day, they get an email summary of where they've been and what they've bought. And the purchases show up on their next credit card statement. "Soon, charges may be on phone, cable, newspaper or Internet Service Provider bills," said Densmore. On the Clickshare web site, publishers can now see samples of aggregated bills, where revenue streams are shared between publishers and service providers.
"Clickshare is designed to scale to a very large number of users and a very high volume of transactions using a distributed architecture, including no single centralized database of users," said Dave Oliver, Clickshare managing director - technology. "What we want to do has been difficult," said David Creagh, electronic publishing manager at the Christian Science Monitor. "Clickshare makes it easy. We're starting with demonstration content to prove it all works, because we've not completely resolved pricing and other issues. We want e- Monitor users to be able to register once, be re-authenticated transparently, and then have their mouse trails be captured and then streamed to our traffic report vendor, our auditor, and the transaction people. One data stream, low overhead. Clickshare is the only product that allows us to do this." Next, Clickshare will sign up additional content providers, link with strategic partners, and recruit an experienced management team.
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